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Are Pugs Lazy? [Are They Low-Energy & Do They Sleep A Lot?]

A common question people have of pugs is their general energy level and their preferences to be active. Pugs have a reputation of being lazy, but is this entirely true or even fair? I decided to spend some time researching into the breed and their general traits and tendencies to be on the go. I’d like to share all that I found with you here today.

So, are pugs lazy? Pugs are generally lazy dogs, but their energy levels do differ according to their age. Puppies and younger pugs are generally more enthusiastic about movement. Beyond this, personality also plays a crucial role in how active they will want to be, as does whether they have been neutered/spayed.

This breed sleeps a lot; newborn puppies tend to sleep all day.

But even adults can snooze for up to 14 hours a day and more, especially if they have been neutered.

And they need minimal exercise too.

You will find that pug puppies and young pugs are a bit more energetic and playful than their older counterparts. If you own a young pug that is less active for their age, you should discuss this with your vet as it could indicate something is up.

As a breed, pugs are not working dogs; but they can make good watchdogs. Equally, they make excellent companions for any household and are commonly kept as loving pets.

But a pug’s reputation does proceeds them; they are known to be stubborn and challenging to train, which is why early socialization and an appropriate training program is so crucial while they are still young.

Pugs, like any dog breed, need attention from their owners. They also need activity throughout their day to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Just be sure that you do not overdo it as they are small dogs and their needs are much less than larger, more energetic breeds.

Let us now take a closer look at some of the most commonly asked questions related to the topic.

Why Is My Pug So Lazy?

Pugs are a low to medium energy level dog breed – this makes them an easy pet for any first-time dog owner.

Pugs are ideal for people who like a dog that sleeps a lot.

Pugs are affectionately called “canine couch potatoes.” Being a tiny-sized breed, they don’t tend to have a lot of endurance.

That being said, you can still make lots of happy memories at the dog park or the beach or just on your daily walks where you live.

Let’s discuss some reasons why pugs are generally lazy:

Breed Characteristics

Pugs have never been working dogs, so their aptitude and desire to move is inherently less.

Pugs originated in China (BC 206 to AD200). They were highly sought-after by the Chinese Emperors of that period and lived in luxury, often guarded by soldiers. In the 1500s, Pugs became a favorite of many European Royal families, so they made excellent Royal companions. All they did was sit around all day.

So the pugs of today are descendants of, what we can only call, privileged dogs.

Nowadays, the pug is an ideal companion for anybody that doesn’t want a high-energy dog, they never forgot their privileged past, and they remain a very sedentary dog breed.

A dream for any pug is to curl up on their owner’s lap; they love it!

The Pugs Age

The energy levels of pugs differ according to their ages.

Newborn pugs tend to sleep all day; as puppies and young pugs, they should be a bit more energetic.

Adult pugs, if they have been neutered/spayed, tend to sleep 14 hours, if not more, per day.

Senior pugs are very relaxed; at this age, you can enjoy the calmness of your old pug by lighting some candles and reading a book.


It’s easy to overfeed a pug as they do not burn that many calories through movement and activity.

If pugs put on too much weight, they can struggle with their mobility, which furhter exacerbates the problem.

If you find that your pug is putting on too much weight and they are acting a bit more sluggish than usual, your vet can help you come up with a diet and exercise plan to get them to safely loose the added pounds.

Are Pugs Low Energy?

Before we can answer this question, we need to quickly define the difference between low energy and high energy dogs.

In a nutshell here it is:

  • Low Energy Dogs – dogs that are very happy to laze around all day, sleep most of the time and undertake minimal movement. Dog breeds that fall into this category only need around 30 minutes of exercise per day.
  • High Energy Dogs – dogs that are very alert and in need of a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation. They need to be exercised frequently and require a lot of attention. Breeds that fall into this category need an hour of exercise or more, and require more attention and consideration.

Here’s a simple overview of the pros of each characteristic side by side, and how they may be suitable for different types of owners:

Low Energy DogsHigh Energy Dogs
Ideal for older people or those with
mobility issues.
Ideal for younger people who
wants to remain more active.
Ideal for those who live in a small
Ideal for those who live in a
larger house.
Ideal for those who do not live
in an area which is conducive
for walking.
Ideal for those who live in
an area with a lot of walking
routes and/or parks.
Can be left alone for longer.Suffer from separation anxiety
and must not be left alone for
too long.
Generally do not bark much.Are known to bark a lot.
Ideal for families with young
Better for younger couples
Good for first time dog owners.Generally more suitable to more
experienced dog owners.
Ideal for those with a family
member whom is scared of dogs.
Family members should be
more confident around dogs.
Generally get along well with
other animals and pets such as
Generally chase cats and other
animals due to a high
natural prey-drive.

Where does that leave pugs, where do they fit in?

So, are pugs low-energy? Pugs are low to medium energy dogs. They are not known for being very active and generally would rather sit around rather than remain on the go. Equally they are not known for being effective at guarding, hunting, or retrieving.

Pugs are best at being companions that love to curl up on their owner’s lap as well as receiving lots of affection.

This breed is very sedentary and will happily sit quietly on your lap while you watch TV or read a book.

Despite lower energy levels than other breeds, they still do enjoy playtime, and it is still very important for them. In fact, they are very comical during this time.

Temperament can affect a pug’s energy levels too; a sweet-natured puppy will be more curious, playful, and more willing to socialize, than a less sweet-natured pug.

Pugs benefit really from being socialized from puppyhood, like any dog breed – it helps get them out of their shell and become more confident around other dogs and people.

A pug that isn’t socialized is less likely to have much confidence and will prefer to be more at home.

How To Boost Your Pugs Energy

There are activities you can do with your pug to boost their energy and make them more happy and inclined to activity, let’s look at some of these:

Go For A Gentle Stroll With Your Pug

Pugs might not have much endurance, but it’s good for them to go for a short walk. This will get them more open to doing it more often and lift their spirits.

Just remember, you should go at your dog’s pace and never go out for too long!

Tug Of War

Pugs like to chew things and pull on them. So, you can get them to chew on the end of a rope or towel, and you can pull the other end.

Remember not to go too hard and try to play as gently as you can.


All dogs enjoy a good game of fetch, and Pugs are no different. While they may not be up for doing it for as long as some other breeds, and tire quickly, its still a good and enjoyable activity for them.

Treasure Hunt

Getting your pug to hunt for their food is an excellent way of keeping them occupied while you do something else.

You can stuff a toy with their favorite treats and hide it; this activity will give your pug so much joy once they finds their treat.

This KONG toy is ideal from Amazon. Its cheap and suitable for all dog breeds as it comes in different sizes. The reviews on this toy are remarkably positive!

Do Pugs Sleep A Lot?

Pugs are known to sleep a lot. This is true for all ages; although their are some differences in puppies and as they age.

Pugs as newborns will sleep up to 20 hours a day. Like any baby, pug puppies do much of their growth in their sleep.

Puppies, until the age of 5 months old, sleep up to 20 hours a day, and this includes the naps they take throughout the day and the hours they sleep at night.

Adult pugs sleep, on average, up to 14 hours a day. Pugs have most of their sleep at night; with that said, they nap at intervals for up to 5 hours a day.

Senior pugs spend most of their time asleep as their metabolism slows down, and they have even less energy than before. In their golden years, pugs prefer to stay in their bed than greet you at the door.

If you find that your pug sleeps more than you’d like them to, you can encourage them to stay awake more by engaging them in activities, such as the ones mentioned above.

It’s not uncommon for these dogs to sleep more if they’re bored.

Some dogs bark a lot if they have nothing to do, whereas pugs sleep a lot.

Pugs need attention from their owners as much as any dog breed.

If your companion doesn’t respond well to activities or from attention and is sleeping too much, you must take your pug to the vet, as there might be an underlying health issue.

Pugs enjoy their creature comforts, and they love a comfortable bed to lay their heads. They are very discerning about the quality of their beds, as it can affect their sleep.

Pugs also like to sleep in their owner’s beds; it’s nice for the pug to be next to his owner, but not so comfortable for the owner as pugs tend to snore a lot.

How Much Exercise Does A Pug Need?

Pugs need 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, the most popular form of exercise for a dog is to take him out for a stroll.

You must walk at a pace that your pug is comfortable with as they have short legs and little bodies.

They make excellent walking companions, but you don’t want to make them walk for miles at the start.

In time your pug might be able to walk as far as two miles, but you must build up to that gradually.

Aside from going fo walks, outdoor exercise can include slow jogging and playing with their toys, or a ball.

Pugs can also benefit from indoor activity; part of that can consist of playing hide and seek and learning new commands. Pugs are smart and curious and enjoy learning new things, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of their beauty sleep.

Older pugs, despite their lower energy levels, need exercise to keep their joints moving, and also to prevent obesity.

If you own a yard, you can allow your older pug roam around the yard for as long as he can endure. Older dogs tire easily, and strenuous exercise can cause injuries, so make sure that your older dog is taking it easy.


Pugs are excellent pets despite their lackadaisical tendencies; they are playful, cheerful, affectionate with their owners, and fun to be around.

There are numerous advantages to owning a pug, they are a small-sized dog that needs only a little exercise, they have a short coat that is easy to manage, and they are surprisingly polite.

For those who love pugs, the amount of sleep they need isn’t a problem because they are bundles of joy when they are awake.

Make sure that your little companion has a balanced diet and has some activity throughout their day to prevent obesity and more inactivity.

Be mindful of your pug’s need for sleep as he gets older and be prepared for him favoring his bed to greeting you when you come in through the door.

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